Audrey Conner, Dan's mother, appears in two episodes of Roseanne, the season 2 episode "We Gather Together" where she was played by Ann Wedgeworth, who is well known to TV viewers for her role as Lana Shields on another popular ABC-TV sitcom, Three's Company, and soap operas. Later, she was played by veteran stage/film actress Debbie Reynolds in the Season 9 episode "Arsenic and Old Mom".
Audrey, who is also the ex-wife of Ed Conner, Dan's dad, is also the mother in-law to Roseanne Conner, the paternal grandmother of Dan's children, and also a great grandmother. She owns a travel agency. She has a mental impairment, but not much else is known about this.
The thanksgiving episode shows that she and Dan love each other very much.
Dan has made several attempts to either stop Crystal from marrying Ed, because Dan was afraid that he would leave her just like he left Audrey after 32 years of marriage, or he tried to convince Crystal to leave Ed, before he left her.
In season 6, Roseanne tells Dan that his mother had been mentally unstable even before her & Ed even met & that it wasn’t Ed’s fault that she was crazy.
By the 9th season, there is a story arc where Dan wants to cure her, but sends her far away in California. Dan goes to visit her, but instead sees her therapist a lot more often than her. As a result, Audrey returned to Lanford to get revenge.
- The series finale did not reveal whether or not Audrey's mental illness was reality or a story-line within Roseanne's book. It could be presumed that it's not, as Dan's time in California (wherein he had the affair), was revealed to be a part of Roseanne's book, as he had died the previous year from his heart attack.
- With all of the modifications that Roseanne Conner made to her biography, it is also possible that Audrey does not look like that.
- Also, Roseanne Barr had been in mental institutions herself because of an accident. In 1970, She spent around nine months trying to recover before spending another nine months in an institution. She was unable to raise her child and did not reunite until the 1980s.
- Since Roseanne Barr had influence in Roseanne Conner, this supports that Audrey was not really institutionalized, at least not in Season 9.
- However, in an episode of The Conners, Becky and Jackie say Audrey is mentally impaired.
- Even more interesting is that when Roseanne Bar was interviewed, she was interviewed by Audrey Goddard.
- In I Pray the Lord My Stove to Keep, Dan mentions that Audrey was a Pentecostal.